Western Electric Telephone

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I should not have procured this old telephone and The Spousal Unit knows it and that is not good. Anyway, moving on from my domestic ruptures... I really like this old telephone and I am so happy I procured it. It is that really cool and ugly handset with its freaky spit cup that sold me on it. This is the telephone you see people like Humphrey Bogart speaking into (while he stares at Lauren Becall's knees in "The Big Sleep"). Factoid: When they were making "The Big Sleep" they came to a part of the story (actually, many parts) that confused them, so they called up Raymond Chandler and asked him what he meant when he wrote that particular passage. He told them he didn't know and if they ever figured it out to call him and let him know. Oh yeah, I am full of useless information like that.

Posted April 28, 2016

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African Daisies and Statice

12"x8" oil on canvas panel It would seem that some sort of cosmic alignment needs to take place for me to paint flowers. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers. I just don't paint them a lot. History has shown that the cosmic equation goes something like this:

And let me tell you, that woman can make a bouquet out of just about anything. If you gave Her petrified lizards, lemon peel from last night's salmon, and an empty bottle of Wild Turkey found at the side of the Sierra Highway, I bet She would make a nice arrangement out of it. (May smell nasty, but it would look nice.) Her victims this time were some African daises (what some people call "Freeway Daisies"), some statice, and some sort of empty spice bottle. The tops of the daisies are such a light purple that they appear white. They are lighter than lilac. Lighter Than Lilac? That sounds like a name for a retro soft rock band. You know, like The Little River Band, but in drag. How I went from talking about painting flowers to coming up with a name for a cross-dressing 1970s cover band I will never know.

Posted March 10, 2016

1956 Pontiac Safari

4"x6" oil on masonite panel I am not 100% sure why I painted this car. Don't get me wrong, the car is gorgeous and the owner should be very proud. And it is not because the Pontiac Safari wagon was the oft neglected half-sibling to the rocking Chevy Nomad. No, the reason is that $%@# blue on its flanks.    You might recall me mentioning that my camera is evil. Well, one of the issues is that the camera just can't seem to correctly capture certain pigments. After taking my work to professional photographers, I have since found that this is not an issue confined to my camera alone (though I still think it is evil). Some colors just seem really hard to capture in the Land of RGB. Blues are an issue; they can just scream out from the image. But a particular blue not only has to be reined in, it is just about impossible to capture or color correct for. For lack of a better term, I would call it Cerulean blue. Blue to the green, but NOT blue green. The sides of this wagon are in that family, but the car was just so beautiful, that I had to take a shot at it—camera be damned. And by the way, don't even talk to me about reds. Reds give me sphilkes.

Posted March 3, 2016

Rotary Telephone Red

4"x6" oil on masonite panel As the uncreative title of this piece confirms, I am a bit distracted at present. (Not that I usually come up with whiz-bang titles.) As I type this, there is an unfinished, five foot wide painting staring at me from behind. I can even see its menacing reflection in my monitor—it's very distracting. After finishing the above painting of a really cool looking phone, all I can say is that I have developed a severe dislike of Lucite.

Posted February 25, 2016

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

Kodak Brownie Starflex Camera

6"x4" oil on masonite panel Just one of the four billion cameras I have sitting around my studio. Its pet name is "Cyclops."

Posted February 18, 2016

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

1929 Ford Model A

6"x4" oil on masonite panel Like so many guys, I love cars. Don't know squat about them—just know I love them. When I say cars, I guess I mean classic cars. The ones from a different era. No seat belts (you wanted to be thrown clear), weird pneumatic windshield wipers (actually made visibility worse, you were better off sticking your head out the window during a rain storm), horrible smog emissions (to kill the rats and termites in your garage, all you had to do was start your car and close the garage door for maybe 5 minutes), a top speed of around 45 to 55 miles per hour (that's downhill with the wind at your back), the designers and engineers made the cars look cool and distinct (actually, that was pretty great—today, cars pretty much all look the same). The list of wonderfulness goes on and on. You know the cars I mean. The good cars.

Posted February 4, 2016

Tangerine and Tea Bowl

4"x6" oil on masonite panel This painting could have just as likely been entitled "Tangerine vs. Tea Bowl." The bookies would probably place odds on the larger, overpowering tea bowl, with its striking design, beating the heck out the poor little tangerine. Seems obvious, right? Actually, that spunky little tangerine's color was so brilliant that I had to tone it down lest it kicked the poor tea bowl's behind. Not just a little, no, it was so brilliant that it was spanking the tea bowl and laughing as it did it! It shouldn't have been laughing, because only one of the them was edible and man, do I love tangerines. Justice prevailed! It was delicious.

Posted January 28, 2016

sold • private collection, marina del rey, ca

Little Red Maneki Neko

6"x4" oil on masonite panel It's Friday and I just finished a 4'x4' painting of a dead guy's head and I am tired and I have apparently forgotten how to use commas and I cannot think of anything to type. You may consider that last thing in my poorly punctuated sentence as divine mercy. I understand.

Posted January 22, 2016

sold • private collection, huntington beach, ca

Automatic Electric Telephone

8"x12" oil on canvas panel Here is the last of this series. I milked for all it was worth and you endured it graciously. For that, I thank you. It would appear that I have a tendency to paint in series. This became very apparent to The Spousal Unit when two new pairs of Converse just mysteriously showed up in our house and I had to fall back on my frayed-around-the-edges excuse of them being subjects for my paintings. The only problem with that excuse is that I do, eventually, have to paint them. So, you may have to suffer with a couple more Chuck Taylor low top paintings. Hey, either I torture you or I have to return my shoes, and those shoes aren't going anywhere.

Posted January 15, 2016

Candid Cinex Camera

8"x12" oil on canvas panel It has been a couple of weeks since you have seen me and this is a bit late, but here goes... Happy New Year! This year starts off with me being a bit behind. This is not unusual. Actually, it seems to be my constant state of being. Behind in prepping my canvases and panels, behind in photographing my work, behind in my yelling at The Spawn (and having them ignore me), behind in my cookie consumption, behind in my painting, not even near my goal of world domination, (the list goes on and on, so let's end with some Latin with a Yul Brynner accent) et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You might say that I am the King of the Behind. Wait, that didn't sound quite right. Just forget I typed that one. Really, please forget it. Anyhow... I think the sense of being behind is not unusual for artists. Even if we somehow mysteriously "catch up," we are not content—there is still more to do, more to create. So, when we finish something, we are already gearing up for the next fight. I may be easily distracted by shiny objects and the occasional chicken, but my mind usually gets right back to my art (or fresh baked goods). Was it Picasso who said, "If you are not behind, you have caught up. And if you have caught up, you are done. I am not done!" Actually, it might have been the guy who sold me a cup of coffee yesterday who said it. Let's just go ahead and scratch that one too.

Posted January 6, 2016

Olive Oil and Some Kind of Jam or Jelly

4"x6" oil on masonite panel This painting is proof that my pilfering—some may call it "scrounging"—ways may have filtered down to my offspring. The empty green olive oil bottle was acquired at CostCo by Spawn Number One. For the uninitiated, CostCo is a chain of "scary big" warehouse stores. Around 10:30 to 11:00 AM an army of hairnet-donning elves come out from the shadows and set up displays from which they offer free samples of food and skin care products. To nip the onslaught of critical emails in the bud, let me say, up front: We do not let the Spawn wander around unsupervised at our local Costco eating free food samples. If you do that, you end up with a 500 lb. child with an abnormal addiction to spinach cheese raviolis and enviously supple skin. Getting back to the point: So, Spawn Number One sees one of the elves discarding this beautiful olive oil bottle and snags it for his old man to paint. What a kid! (I worry just a bit when he shows up with empty tequila bottles, but still... What a kid!)

Posted December 9, 2015

sold • private collection los angeles, ca

Carol's Kind-of-Red Hi-Top

4"x6" oil on masonite panel A friend of mine sent me a pair of these to paint. While it would be a simple out for me to blame my friend, in fact, I asked for the punishment. She had already painted them (did a great job, by the way) and I thought I would take a crack at them. As the title implies, the color is a little on the in-between. I would call it a... tired red—not quite pink—hue. But, as my friend said to me, "Hey, we're artists, paint them any color you want." I did this little painting to engage the shoes with the possibility of painting a larger piece. Still on the fence about it. On a much more important note: The Spousal Unit's spellchecker on one of the ten billion electronic devices that cohabit with us, changed "Backpack" into the more socially acceptable "Bad Koala." How cool is that? It's the little things like that that lube my day. By the way, spellcheckers have been officially categorized by the United Nations secretarial pool, the Pope, and the Central African nation of Equatorial Guinea as evil—and I agree with them.

Posted December 3, 2015

sold • private collection carpinteria, ca

Imperial Mark VII Camera in Blue

6"x4" oil on masonite panel While I no longer practice the daily painting regime (completing one painting a day), I find it hard to stay away from painting these little 4x6 devils. They seem to fill a need of mine to be constantly painting, even when there is a gap of time between larger paintings. Or, they at least help to assuage the feeling that I must fill those empty spaces in my life; an issue I still profusely refuse to seek therapy for (cookies usually work really well, too). These mini paintings are also great for aiding my on-going and seemingly never-ending color experimentation—lending ample opportunities for me to cuss and spit at my villainous palette.  

Posted November 19, 2015

Ansco Craftsman Box Camera

16"x12" oil on canvas This is one of many—and I mean many—box cameras that call my studio home. I took a picture of all of them in my studio, but it is a little embarrassing. Hence, I only sent it to my email subscribers. My legal counsel advises that proof of insanity should not be (willingly) put out into the public sphere. (And I promised The Spousal Unit to try, try to stop embarrassing myself in public.)

Posted November 11, 2015

Airline Radio

8"x12" oil on canvas panel This piece is part of a loosely affiliated trio of paintings (see inset photo) that I purposely used a similar color palette on. I really do not know why I controlled my palette like that. All I know is that I was itching to paint the subjects, who had been idly sitting in the studio taking up space without helping pay for their keep. Yes, I demand that all the... stuff (The Spousal Unit uses a different term for the items that make up the avalanche-waiting-to-happen in my studio) crammed into my studio pay for their existence in said space.

Posted November 4, 2015

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